Non-painted antiquity

The ride from Yerevan to Gyumri is not at all tired by the traveler: there is something to view from the car window, and the road does not cover so between the mountains, as in other regions of Armenia. And soon you are in an amazing city, famous for its colors and sharp in the language.

It all started unexpectedly and immediately. The fact is that the monastery complex Marmashen is not visible from the road or from nearby villages. It opens suddenly solid panorama. Spectacle, I must say, stunning: Church buildings from red tuffs are stunningly fit into the landscape – the yellow-green mountains and the gorge of the Akhuryan River, which flows literally. Two churches are partially preserved here, and one more, small, two steps away from the main, upward slope.

The abode was founded in 988, during the reign of the Bagrates dynasty. The history of Armenia knew many falls and ups, and here is one of the last – and most significant – we must rule the rulers of this dynasty. A big role in the state of Bagratiov, Ani-Shirak Principality, played the Pahlawan dynasty, one of the representatives of which, a major warlord Vagram Pahlawani, and became the initiator of the creation of the Marmamen monastery, the construction of which ended in 1028. It was a unique time when the principality was able to achieve independence from the Arab Caliphate and Byzantium, between which Armenia was divided, and to unite under its authority many feudal possessions. The greatest flourishing the kingdom of Bagratides reached in the middle of the X – early XI centuries.: The old and new cities grew and appeared, trade developed, built monasteries, schools, hospitals. It was during this period that the monastery of Marmoshen, the cultural and spiritual center of Armenia of that time was founded.

We went around the abode from all sides, went to the main temple and put candles that can be purchased from the Mamicon’s local caretaker – a clergy for the church, in any case permanent, no. Mamikon and showed us much, and told. Let’s say about how he discovered in the ground a couple of years ago large pitchers – peaks. Dipping the throat of several, he reported on this specialists. Those came, looked, ordered nothing more to touch due to the risk of damage to objects with inept excavations and left. Still not returned.

  • Monastic complex Marmashen
  • Khachkars and tombstones
  • Fragment

The main temple of Marmacheng – the Church of the Catogic – a truly architectural masterpiece (in the same style, by the way, the Cathedral in Ani is created). In front of him is a huge boulder. So: if you sit on it, the complex is visible all, and you can admire the stringent and harmonious lines of the church and her dome. The dome is right in the middle of the temple, which absorbed a completely small inner space, but from this point of construction seems colossal. Amazed, with what care and accuracy came every detail for ten centuries ago. However, "predatory eyes of a simple joiner" Already singing the poet. To the western part of the temple, the canogy was adjacent (gavit), the walls of which were partially preserved. Members of the Resident members were held here. Now in this place numerous tombstones.

Non-painted antiquity

– Vagram Pahlava had several tomb in order to fool enemies and robbers, "Mamikon says," but the place of his real burial is here here and, who knows, maybe we stand right above it. Science, however, tend to support only the second part of this theory.

Under your feet – whole and broken khachkars, tombstones, caraams, surprised by the mouths of thick high grass, the remains of monastic cells and walls of the monastery fence. In addition, near the Catogic, the remains of the foundation round at the base of the church are.

The buildings must have been an impressive millennium back, and this patch of land undoubtedly hides many more interesting things in himself.

The altar part of the small church opened her little "Mystery". Passing toward the round wall of the altar, one of us accidentally noticed a niche between the two main columns. At the entrance it seems that these columns are located as close to each other that the space between them can be except that the narrow gap. The same impression is created if you look from the altar. Niche is noticeable only if you stand right in front of her and look right or left, in the gap between columns. It leads to a secret celia, apparently, a few steps down. The room also surprised her size: you expect to see a smaller room. The same is on the other side of the altar part, both niches look strictly one to another. And what is the garden here, probably! On the green patch in front of the monastery and now trees are growing, but if you look closely, it can be assumed that the garden stretched much further than the current one – the playground is clearly artificially aligned, even for a very long time, and straight lines that limit the smooth surface indicate the former borders of the monastery garden.

In the first half of the XI century, the kingdom of Bagratiov was declining – the Byzantine conquests began. Despite the brave resistance of the inhabitants of Ani and the surrounding villages under the command of Vagram Pakhlavuni, Ani-Shirak Principality Palo. And all the kingdom ceased to exist after the conquest of Seljuk Turks.

– Ani and Marmoshen saved the Southern Churches, including Echmiadzin, – Mamikon continues. – Whether the invaders turned from the straight path, or the charter, turned back – who knows them.

And even truth: what happened then, and however, and much later, with the monastery of Marmoshen, no one will say for sure. Some sources report that the main temple was destroyed by the Seljuk Turks, and then, in 1225., Restored by grandchildren of Vagram Pahlavuni – Archbishop Grigor and his brother Garib.

Further fate of these walls is known only to God.

After the pilgrimage to the Marmashen Monastery, especially in hot weather, it’s nice to stroll through its surroundings. We began to descend down to the river, and came to the springs. There were five of them five – that is, we found so much. In fact, they are more – and however, by the way, it turned out to be a small discovery, because the water that was with us had already acquired a slight ambient temperature. So we got drunk and washed, stuck in the monastery water of the future and, the message and Osmeleev, went on to the Akhuryan River, which in this place forms two waterfalls. You can go straight along the river – the water here on the knee, the second is filled with a small dam. This uses special love, come here to relax and swim. You will be in these edges, you can try to plunge. Just warning – cold water!

Non-painted antiquity

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